Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Does a fish even know what water is?

That’s what I am experiencing right now. Perhaps you are too. How do we make sense of these times? How do we understand it? It all seems overwhelming.  A fish cannot filter out the microplastic flowing through its gills nor stop it at the source. We cannot filter out the COVID-19 coronavirus, nor systemic racism, nor systemic greed, nor…

It is like going back to being little children again in which the world is so big and we are so little. A pat on the head and being told, “Don’t worry about it, you’ll understand when you are bigger,” doesn’t help at all.

And yet, we can do what we can. We can put our toys away and wash our hands before supper. We can eat all our peas and obey our Mom’s command to take only one dessert. Be nice to our new neighbor. Not hit our brother back. Say, “I’m sorry,” and mean it. Share. Go to bed on time. Turn off the television. Say our prayers. We can do what we can do.

We are not the Savior of the world. Jesus is. It helps to be reminded of this from time to time.

You will find in these following pages how we are seeking to be church together in the midst of this ever changing world. We have a plan of how we might worship together both safely and meaningfully. But this is only the start of a plan. We will be changing and adapting it as we go along. In one sense we are like teachers at the beginning of the school year. Those first few weeks are absolutely critical, for those are the days in which the teacher sets the class room rules and models his or her teaching style. A good teacher starts out strict at the beginning and then adapts the rules and style as the idiosyncrasies of that particular class begin to emerge.

There is still much we have to figure out here at St. Mark’s, and we are doing so as we go along. I remember Eugene Petersen, a pastor and writer who has deeply influenced me, once writing, “Being a pastor is like building a house in a windstorm. Sometimes all you can do is grab a board as it is flying by and nail it down.”

Please know that the leadership team here at St. Mark’s is trying to do just that. We are searching for order in chaos, discovering how to connect to another, and rescuing that which is about to fly off into oblivion.

We are less like fish and more like carpenters trying to follow the directions of the Master Carpenter.


Pastor Doug